Activision Earning Call Confirms Destiny Expansion Coming Fall 2018
Destiny 2 DLC outsold Destiny 1 DLC by wide margin
Eververse Micro-transactions out-grossed DLC sales
IGN's Destin Legarie: 'Activision: event in May and major expansion in Fall is a chance to reengage their audience.'
Activision: Bungie is in process of addressing fan feedback
This afternoon, Activision made its Q4 Earnings Call, with a lot of good news for investors. Call of Duty once again topped the charts after repeated misfires in previous years. Overwatch League proved a massive success, and is continuing to expand with new teams being added around the world. And of course, Destiny came up.
Financially, Destiny 2 is nothing short of a wild success. On console, the game was a smash hit, only being outsold by COD: WWII and Grand Theft Auto V (I know it came out in 2013, someone needs to tell that to Rockstar)
Insofar as sales go, Activision remained extremely profitable, with a staggering operating margin of 38%. Of course that won't stop micro-transaction truthers from spreading their myths about the "cost-of-development" going up. Speaking of the cursed sacrament, micro-transansactions are increasingly profitable for the company across its franchises.
Eververse in particular, Activision claims, generated more revenue than actual DLC sales. Keep in mind that Destiny 2's only released DLC 'The Curse of Osiris' itself outsold D1's DLC according to a claim made in the same presentation. All this goes to show that Activision and Bungie are rolling in cash. Regardless of player complaints, Destiny 2 managed to turn a profit that put it among the highest grossing games of the generation.
Push forward to DLC, and Activision reiterates their ongoing commitment to improving the franchise, saying that Bungie is actively receiving player feedback and taking it into consideration. They call the May DLC reveal, supposedly called 'Gods of Mars,' (this remains unconfirmed by either studio or publisher) a chance to "reengage" their audience, according to IGN's Destin Legarie.
Within that same sentiment, it's also confirmed that Destiny 2 will receive a "major content launch" in Fall of this year. With Bungie on the clock to fix the game, it's unsure if this will be a 'Taken King' style expansion at the $40 price-point.
With Eververse now out-grossing Destiny 2's DLC, which in itself is out-grossing Destiny 1 DLC, Bungie has well over twice the amount of cash to work with, compared to their revenue heading into 'Taken King.'
Destiny 2 is a game as a service, and they're currently struggling in maintaining the "service" end of that arrangement. If micro-transactions are leading their revenue stream, it would be financially advisable to consider dropping the price of Fall's major release in order to retain a wider swathe of the demoralized playerbase. Even if May's DLC is popular and retains fans, a high-priced DLC just months later could wreck that fragile progress.
Destiny remains successful as a $60 release, but Bungie wants it to be a game-as-a-service, something Activision continues to reiterate as their common goal. Bungie has succeeded at the first, and wildly so. But they've struggled with the latter. If micro-transactions truly dominate their ongoing revenue post-launch, they may want to reconsider the amount of up-front money required for players to buy in.
Activision-Blizzard stock dropped following the call, but remains an overall high performer in the long-run. Overwatch is dominating the competitive shooter scene in a historic fashion; Call of Duty's reinvigorated the couch shooter franchise; now, it's up to Bungie to prove where Destiny fits into this powerful lineup.